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GSU Football Notebook - Don't forget about the other phases

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GSU Football Notebook - Don't forget about the other phases

The excitement of the triple-option offense and its return to Georgia Southern has been almost tangible this season, but much of the Eagles’ success this season can be chalked up to one thing — scoring defense.

In the last two games, GSU (6-4, 4-3) has combined for seven-straight quarters and an overtime session without allowing a touchdown, and also shut out the opposition in the second half in the last two games against Appalachian State and Western Carolina.

"We wouldn’t have six wins right now if it weren’t for the great job our defense has done," said GSU coach Jeff Monken.

The Eagles — who are sixth in the Southern Conference in scoring offense at 27.6 points per game, lead the league in scoring defense, allowing only 17.1.

They are also second in the league in total yards allowed per game (296.2) and rushing yards allowed (134).

"It all goes back to the foundation laid by this coaching staff and the way we pushed these guys, all the way back to the winter," said GSU defensive coordinator Brent Pry. "What was expected of them, I think that’s what changed."

Also hard to ignore is the special-teams play of the Eagles.

Laron Scott’s 27.4 yards per kickoff return leads the conference, and he isn’t the only one at the top of the league.

Punter Charlie Edwards leads the SoCon in net yards per punt (41.3) and kicker Adrian Mora is tied for first in extra points without a miss (32-32) and is second in field-goal percentage (90.9) hitting 10 of 11 attempts.

"Our guys take a lot of pride in special teams and they’re working really hard," said special teams coach/defensive line coach John Scott. "If anybody knows about special teams, it’s coach [Jeff] Monken. He has a big-time special-teams backround, so we put a lot of time and emphasis on it."


Player of the Week

Two of the SoCon’s three player-of-the-week categories were given to Eagles this week.

Sophomore defensive tackle Brent Russell was honored with the SoCon Defensive Player of the Week award. He recorded seven tackles (3.5 for loss) as GSU racked up 11 total tackles for loss in the game in the Eagles’ 28-6 win Saturday at Western Carolina.

"With the offense we’ve got, nobody can beat us kicking field goals," said Russell. "It’s a big testament to our defense — bend, don’t break."

Robert Brown was awarded SoCon Freshman of the Week after racking up 156 yards on 17 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

It was the second week in a row Brown got the award. It was given to him the week prior after he scored the eventual game-winning touchdown in overtime against then-No. 1 Appalachian State.

"The coaches drill it into my head every week – hit the hole with no hesitation," Brown said. "It’s about being disciplined and trying to listen to the coaches, so I do my best to try and do that."

The Eagles close out the regular season Saturday in Greenville, S.C. against Furman at 2 p.m.


Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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